Warthogs are easily distinguishable from other hogs because of the wartlike protuberances on either side of their heads, behind and under their eyes and on the jaw. Actual warts (skin growths) are only prominent on males. Warthog sows (females) and their young live in groups called sounders, which typically consist of 3-10 individuals. Male boars tend to live in solitude or in bachelor groups. Warthogs are not particularly territorial, but sounders will avoid each other and males will mark trees with their tusks and tusk-gland secretions. When eating, warthogs drop onto their padded wrists – a behavior unique among pigs. Because they are incapable of sweating, warthogs often wallow in mud to cool off and repel insects.


Phacochoerus africanus

Distribution: Savanna grasslands, open bushland and woodland of sub-Saharan Africa

Diet in the Wild: Grass, berries, roots and carrion

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Grain and varied fruits and vegetables

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern, population decreasing

Threats: Habitat fragmentation and loss, drought, predation and disease (notably rinderpest and bovine tuberculosis)

Interesting Facts:

Warthogs can run at speeds of up to 34 mph (55 kph).

Warthogs will vary their schedules based on local threats. While they are usually diurnal (active during the day), warthogs have been seen to be active at night in areas where predators, high temperatures or interactions with humans are a threat in daylight hours.

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